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(Democrat & Chronicle)   High-speed Great Lakes ferry between U.S. and Canada to fly Bahamas flag   ( divider line
    More: Weird  
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12787 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Feb 2004 at 1:16 PM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

100 Comments     (+0 »)

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2004-02-20 09:22:19 AM  
Good. Maybe they'll stop devoting 20 minutes of news-time to this stupid ferry.

Here's a hint news organizations:

Nobody cares.

2004-02-20 09:49:33 AM  
What I want to know is where the Port Authority is going to put this ferry dock.

All of harbourfront is being developed into mega-condos (killing the skyline), and the only other place is out by The Docks at the end of Cherry St, but I was under the impression all that land was devoted to the olympic bid and is still marked for public space and stadiums. Oh, and more condos.

Anyone have any clues?

Oh ya, if you aren't from T.O. you really won't get most of what I just said.
2004-02-20 09:56:57 AM  
Nevermind, I just found the site. They are putting it on Cherry St.

That's just great for the tourists. "Welcome to Toronto, before you get to the city you're going to have to pass through one of the most run-down industrial sectors in the city."
2004-02-20 10:20:37 AM  
CATS plans to hire all U.S. citizens for its professional crew and staff. The ship, which uses water jets to propel itself, was constructed to pose no environmental problems, CATS says.

CATS then said:
[image from too old to be available]

/somebody had to do it
2004-02-20 01:21:57 PM  
You owe me a new keyboard.
2004-02-20 01:23:18 PM  
Wait, aren't the Bahamas part of America anyway? Off of the coast of California? Right next to Hawaii and Brazil, right?
2004-02-20 01:24:38 PM  
This was all done assuming people would want to visit Rochester NY.
2004-02-20 01:24:41 PM  
Sounds like what Paul Martin's Canada Steamship Lines pulled.

Not a very nice thing to do.

Um, that would be the Prime Minister of Canada btw...
2004-02-20 01:24:54 PM  
CATS plans to hire all U.S. citizens for its professional crew and staff

Shiat, that must be one big boat to employ that many people.
2004-02-20 01:27:27 PM  
Lift up your head to the rising sun, Bahamaland;
March on to glory, tour bright banners waving high.
See how the world marks the manner of your bearing!
Pledge to excel through love and unity.
Pressing onward, march together to a common loftier goal;
Steady sunward, though the weather hide the wide and treacherous shoal.
Lift up your head to the rising sun, Bahamaland;
Till the road you've trod Lead unto your God, Marchon, Bahamaland!
2004-02-20 01:28:06 PM  
It really doesn't matter to me what flag is on the ship, as long as the damn thing floats.

Also, I wish my name was Hornblower.
2004-02-20 01:30:38 PM  
I hoped they'd put the Tornonto terminal at the Island Airport, so there'd be a reason to build the bridge to the shore.

Cherry St is a bad idea. Come see the vagrants and abandoned buildings! Stay for the stray animals!
2004-02-20 01:31:20 PM  
The Spirit of Ontario was built in Australia. It will be owned by an American-based company. And it will sail between the United States and Canada.

But the flag that will permanently fly over its stern will be from the Bahamas.

Addendum to this news. The previous boat that was flying the Iraqi flag was mysteriously sunk.
2004-02-20 01:31:20 PM  
What they need to do is hire The Last Saskatchewan Pirate as a privateer and take this vessel for the US. Or Canada, whichever. How many aircraft carriers do the Bahamas have, anyway? Screw 'em.
2004-02-20 01:31:24 PM  
How long is the drive to New York City form Rochester?

Am I better off taking this thing or crossing the border further east near Kingston?
2004-02-20 01:32:23 PM  
DAMN whadda boat ... pics @

/html idiot
2004-02-20 01:33:04 PM  
And no work has started at Cherry St for a terminal. Nothing.

I think the plan is to run a wooden plank up to the door and tell people to balance themselves as they walk down.

That or they're going to borrow one of those portable staircases from the airport. And the cars-they're being told to make a run off the end of the ferry "Dukes of Hazzard"-style.
2004-02-20 01:33:32 PM  
In other news: Bahamas is preparing for war with an unknown country.
2004-02-20 01:34:02 PM  

That's the first good AYB reference I've seen in a long time.
2004-02-20 01:35:32 PM  
I think they should go with the old "skull & crossbones" flag
2004-02-20 01:35:46 PM  
This ferry will be nice to have.

It takes about 7 hours to get to Rochester by train, going around Lake Ontario, and spending nearly 2 hours in customs.

Of course, it's not Rochester I want to go to. That's just one stop on the way to NYC.
2004-02-20 01:36:19 PM  
Makes perfect sense.
2004-02-20 01:36:37 PM  
For a second I thought I cared, but it turned out to just be gas
2004-02-20 01:36:43 PM  
Excellent idea. No reason to pay high-wage low-work American workers when som...
Oh. Wait a minute.
2004-02-20 01:39:45 PM  
This isn't surprising...many ships are registered in a few select countries that are more lax on regulations. For example, an oil tanker from an American company based out of Houston could be flying Sengalese colors with a Filipino crew and a Norwegian Captain. I don't know exactly why a ferry would benefit from being registered as a Bahamanian (?) vessel, since it's ports of call will only be in Canada and USA, but apparently there's a reason.
2004-02-20 01:42:30 PM  
Can't they outsource this to India or something?
2004-02-20 01:44:56 PM  
That purplefinder thingy (at the end of the article) is pretty impressive.
2004-02-20 01:48:37 PM  
swahnhennessy: I don't know exactly why a ferry would benefit from being registered as a Bahamanian (?) vessel, since it's ports of call will only be in Canada and USA, but apparently there's a reason.

Liability reasons, insurance reasons, regulations. The US regulatory scheme on ships like this are pretty restrictive and designed to promote safety. The Bahamian (and Senegalese, etc.) regulations are either nonexistent or much less restrictive.

Bottom line: someone gets hurt or killed on one of these ships, they and their family have less to use against the owner of the company.
2004-02-20 01:49:26 PM  
High-speed Great Lakes ferry between U.S. and Canada to fly Bahamas flag

Yeah, for some reason they couldn't go with their initial choice:

[image from too old to be available]
2004-02-20 01:50:14 PM  
This is just a deterrent to terrorists. If there were this huge ship with a big American flag it would be a target, now, it's drawing no attention from the tali-ban.
2004-02-20 01:52:03 PM  
Jeez RiverRat, you're right. That's a hell of a ferry.
2004-02-20 01:56:55 PM  
Bahamian flag. More than the regulation's a tax dodge. Most of the large cruise ships are Bahamian

Besides, they let the dogs out
2004-02-20 01:56:56 PM  
The laws in the Bahamas are very lax in terms of safety and regulation. That's why most cruise chips are registered in the Bahamas.
2004-02-20 01:58:29 PM  
I thought Cruise Ships had to abide by international law and saftey regs?

Bahama registry is more for tax resason, at least I was lead to belive that.
2004-02-20 01:58:43 PM  
Whoopy farkin do
2004-02-20 01:59:30 PM  
From the article...which none of us read before responding about the Bahamian registration...

Registering in a foreign country, commonly referred to as obtaining a flag of convenience, is a controversial practice in the shipping business. Nations compete for ship registrations by keeping taxes and fees lower than countries such as the United States and by offering poorly enforced environmental, safety and labor standards, said Elizabeth DeSombre, an associate professor at Wellesley College in Massachusetts who studies international shipping.
2004-02-20 02:00:22 PM  
It will certainly save time, however, this comes at a fairly high cost - the proposed ticket prices are not cheap - particularly if you are with car. I suspect they are hopping for a significant amount of non-car traffic, i.e., Rochester visitors to Toronto, and vice versa.
This is a very big ferry and I think it is not too likely they will get the number of patrons to make it pay.
2004-02-20 02:01:28 PM  
In case you're wondering...

this is the flag of the Bahamas.

[image from too old to be available]
2004-02-20 02:01:33 PM  
not too unusual at all. i admit, I've never heard of a ferry under a foreign flag, but in the commercial sector, it's extremely common. why go to the trouble and expense of following us regs when you can fly a greek flag and let the dog take the mid to eight watch?
2004-02-20 02:05:11 PM  

I was thinking that too, but I looked at the prices and it's at least 20 bucks a head, plus the car. I'm thinking that they hope to make their money on tour groups.

As for the Island brige, hell no. There's absolutely no reason for that bridge to be built. The Gardiner needs to be dealt with before a bridge is even considered.
2004-02-20 02:06:33 PM  
Always good to know the dollar is more important the human lives.
2004-02-20 02:07:34 PM  

I suspect they are hopping for a significant amount of non-car traffic, i.e., Rochester visitors to Toronto, and vice versa.

Ha ha, vice versa? Yeah, nothing says "good times" like a trip to Rochester!
2004-02-20 02:12:37 PM  
I met a German girl in England who was going to school in France. Said we danced the Mississippi at an Alpha Cappa dance. I love that the Bahamas registry HQ is in London.
2004-02-20 02:12:49 PM  
My girlfriend is from Roch. We visited there last summer and everyone kept talking about this damned ferry and how great it would be for people to be able to go back and forth.

I looked at everyone and said, "Who would want to come to this shiathole?" *crickets chirping*

Seriously. Why in the hell would anyone ever want to visit Rochester (other than Dinosaur Barbecue--that was some tasty grub)
2004-02-20 02:15:16 PM  

I checked a map and from what I can tell the ferry should shave off about 2 hours of the trip to NYC, provided you get the ferry on time, and want to shell out the cash for it.
2004-02-20 02:17:07 PM  
Holy crap!
This is huge news!
I'm outraged!
I'm going to write a letter to my local repre-ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
2004-02-20 02:17:45 PM  
My ship would carry this flag:

[image from too old to be available]
2004-02-20 02:19:26 PM  
I'm lookin forward to the ferry starting, regardless of where it's registered. 'Specially if the customs on both sides isn't a clusterfcuk like it is at every other crossing in NY (Buffalo is freakin horrible).
2004-02-20 02:22:39 PM  

Seriously. Why in the hell would anyone ever want to visit Rochester (other than Dinosaur Barbecue--that was some tasty grub)

Also, if you like macaroni salad covered in meat sauce, hot dogs, and tabasco, (and the consequent projectile vomiting of said food chunks mixed with stale Genesee beer through your mouth and nose) you could go to Nick Tahou's.
2004-02-20 02:24:08 PM  
[image from too old to be available]

Many from Toronto will visit Ro-cha-cha to enjoy the local color at places like Nick Tahou's (home of the famous Garbage Plate) and the High Falls District (where you can look at the beautiful, er, High Falls and dilapidated industrial miasma, and maybe get mugged too).
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